GUEST BLOGGER SUZANNE SLADE
It seems everyone is fascinated by Mars. The exciting news about recent Mars missions has likely peaked your students’ curiosity about this amazing planet. So why not take your class on a far-out field trip? Here’s a travel itinerary that’s free—and easy. Enjoy your adventure to the Red Planet!
Activity 1: Get the lay of the Martian land
Discover incredible, hi-res photos in the picture book, MAR IS: STARK SLOPE, SILVERY SNOW, AND STARTLING SURPRISES or in the MARS IS book trailer.
Activity 2: Blast off!
Provide students with the following NASA links so they can obtain their own boarding pass, take an out-of-this-world selfie, hear how their voice sounds on the Red Planet, and explore more photos.
- Boarding Pass – Get your boarding pass and send your name to Mars.
- NASA’s Mars Photo Booth – Take a photo of yourself on the Red Planet.
- Sounds of Mars – Hear how your voice sounds on Mars.
- HiRISE Catalog – See more phenomenal photos taken by the HiRISE camera (the most advanced camera ever sent to another planet).
Activity 3: Field trip findings
Ask students to write about their favorite Red Planet features (ice, volcano, crater, sand dune, etc.) they discovered in MARS IS and share why they liked these features. Students may do additional research on the NASA Mars website or other reliable websites to learn more about that feature (how it was created, what scientists learned from it, etc.). You may also ask students to share one new thing they learned from their field trip.
Suzanne Slade is the Sibert Honor author of over 150 children’s books. As a mechanical engineer who worked on rockets, she ofter writes about space and women in STEM. Other recent titles include A COMPUTER CALLED KATHERINE: HOW KATHERINE JOHNSON HELPED PUT AMERICA ON THE MOON (NSTA Best STEM Book), THE UNIVERSE AND YOU, DARING DOZEN, COUNTDOWN: 2979 DAYS TO THE MOON, and ASTRONAUT ANNIE (Read on the Space Station). Find more fun, free space resources on Suzanne’s website here. Twitter: @AuthorSSlade